This is the full 12-7-08 episode of the Labor Express Radio program. On this episode of Labor Express Radio, the workers of Republic Windows & Doors, a custom-crafted vinyl replacement window factory, were informed last Tuesday that as of 10 AM Friday morning, the factory would close down for good. The workers members of UE Local 1110, immediately contacted their union reps and began to organize a response. In particular, the workers were angered by the companyâs claims that they could not pay the workers for their accrued vacation time and for the 75 days of pay and benefits that they a guaranteed under law. The federal WARN Act (the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) guarantees workers 60 days notice before a plant closure, during which time workers should receive they regular wages and benefits. Illinois law gives the workers an extra 15 days. The workers and UE argue that by closing the plant with only three days of notice, company management is in violation of federal and state law. So when the 10 AM hour came last Friday morning, instead of walking of silently into the cold winter wind, excepting their fate, the same fate that has already befallen millions of working people over the past year, the workers at Republic refused to leave the factory grounds until they received their severance. In doing so, these workers launched the first factory occupation in this country in many decades.
Labor Express Radio is Chicago's only English language labor news and current affairs program. News for working people, by working people. Labor Express Radio airs every Sunday night at 7:00 PM on Chicago's indepedent community radio station, WLUW.